Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mixed Chicks: Natural Hair Care Product Review

In the natural hair community Mixed Chicks hair products are among the elite and in high demand.  Many YouTube vloggers use their popular products during hair style tutorials. So naturally I became interested in trying the brand. Their products range from $15 to $20 for the smaller sizes and go up from there. I decided to purchase the 3/4oz travel size samples from their website for .99 cents (shampoo, moisturizing condition and leave in conditioner included). It was enough for one wash.

**Photo courtesy of mixedchicks.net

  • Mixed Chicks Shampoo-

The first thing I noticed is this product doesn’t have a great smell. It doesn’t stink but it’s just not a smell that I enjoyed. It had a nice lather but as I continued to wash my hair it had that squeaky feel. Can’t say I noticed any difference in my hair after the wash. Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed with the shampoo.

  • Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner-

This recipe is pretty thick but also didn’t have an enjoyable smell to me. Conditioning is when I detangle and comb out my hair so slippage* is extremely important for me to be able to get through my thick mane. There was no slippage at all in this product so I had to mix in my typical Aussie conditioner in order to detangle. I gave the product time to sit while I finished my shower and did notice after rinsing that my hair felt soft. I would give this product another try after I’ve detangled and maybe sit under a dryer for a bit.

  • Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner-

There was nothing special about this conditioner. I will stick with my Cantu leave in.

Overall, I think this brand is over rated and overpriced. As stated above, I’m willing to re try the deep conditioner and use my other two sample packs but probably won’t be purchasing anything new from them.

*Slippage- natural hair term that refers to a product (typically conditioner) that has a slippery consistency making it easier to comb or finger through hair. This is very important so hair isn’t ripped when trying to detangle.

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Time at Flirty Girl Fitness

I purchased a Groupon for a one month trial membership at this popular Chicago women’s fitness center for $49. Typically the prices range from $25 (one class) to unlimited monthly memberships of $109, $149 and $199 (class punch cards of 5, 10 and 20 also available). Get more information about pricing here

Despite the outrageous membership prices, this fitness center has a lot to offer starting with valet. All three memberships include complimentary valet parking in the busy Lincoln Park location. Otherwise, non-members can valet for $5 which isn't too bad considering in this neighborhood it’s all metered parking. The staff was friendly, instructors very knowledgeable and the decor absolutely fabulous.  Decorated with pink and black accents on the walls and crystal looking chandeliers there’s a cocktail bar and mani/pedi stations. Several lounge seating areas line the facility offering eye appealing places to wait on classes or rest. Even the restrooms/locker rooms are complete with pink towels, plush seating and a blow dry bar.

There is a cardio and weight room but they are known for their “flirty” classes. With over 35 classes, one of their most popular is Pole Dancing; both pole classes I attended were full. They like to book those to the max leaving participants having to share poles at times which I’m not a fan of. Not only does that limit the time you’re actually working out but if I’m paying $109 per month, I’d expect a smaller class size where I can work out the entire hour. The two instructors were fabulous and the music was great. I couldn't have asked for more.

Overall the place is nothing short of a girl’s dream workout destination. I will definitely be attending drop in classes here and there but unfortunately the membership isn't in my budget (I actually wonder who can afford between $ 109-$199 a month to work out). One thing that is missing is the ease of the last minute workout. I understand having to pre-register for classes is a necessary evil due to class popularity but there’s something to be said for being able to pop up and attend class like say your local LA Fitness.

**Photo courtesy of http://www.dnainfo.com/

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Is That Your Real Hair?

My journey to rocking my natural curls didn't start because I wanted healthy hair or for any cultural reasons, it simply was by accident. I needed a change and didn't know what that would be. Eventually after about 5 months or so after postponing my chemical touch- up my roots were curly and a couple inches long. I realized that my hair was actually curly and if I allowed it to grow out could be flattering on my face. So I went with it. I had no idea what I was doing or that it was called transitioning but I continued to let it grow out and flat ironed it.

After about a year I started to take an interest in educating myself on everything natural hair, from products and styles to hair types. YouTube became my obsession and I learned so much from watching all kinds of tutorials. A year later feeling impatient I did the big chop cutting all my straight ends only being left with my natural curls in my bathroom (pic below).

Ever since, it’s been a fun platform and has turned into me wanting healthy hair and really feeling more like myself. I feel free and beautiful rocking my curly
locks. I've included some pictures and will start to share what I've learned so far. I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it a year after fully being natural. If it wasn't for natural hair blogs and videos I’d be clueless. So consider my story and advice here as my contribution to the natural hair community. I hope this will help someone that finds themselves in the same seat I was in a couple years ago. 

I look forward to sharing my styling tips, product reviews and interesting/helpful information I come across. Please also feel free to do the same. As everyone usually says my tips will be things that have worked for me. Just like a recipe, you may need to do some adjusting. It’s hard work, but don’t get discouraged, after practice it gets easier I promise.  

The day I cut off my remaining relaxed hair

June 2014 right after my big chop (L)
and Feb 2015 after I flat ironed my hair (R) 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

In Honor of My Grandmother

It's been a year since my grandmother left this earth to live in Heaven with God and the love of her life, my grandpa, L.B.

My granny, Henrietta Anderson, was a great mom, friend, grandmother, sister, wife and aunt. She was also one of the best and sweetest people I've known. With a heart of gold, she was a care taker and truly selfless. We had a special relationship that I will always treasure. I will miss her cooking advice. Fortunately I'm named after her so I will always carry a piece of her throughout my life.

She LOVED to fish and hunt and was a league champion bowler at one point. She was the best cook and really good at recycling left overs to make a completely new meal. I always admired her strength and sense of humor. She had just celebrated her 74th birthday a week before she passed.

I created this video montage in her honor. Something I can look back on when I'm desperate to see her face and hear her voice. To the woman who helped my mom raise me...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Opportunity To Make A Difference

My good friend is in the Peace Corps and has been living in Lesotho South Africa for about a year and a half. She has sacrificed time with her family and friends, career and comforts of home to help this small village learn how to bring in money and sustain their needs. She does this all while teaching kids at the local school and teaching the villagers (young and old) how to make crafts to generate money. I don't know how she does it but she has embarked on an amazing project to raise money for a much needed village water pump.

To read more about her project and get information on how to donate click here.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Music Video Pick Me Up

Here's a little something to help us get to the weekend. Happy Thursday! 

Song courtesy of Gotye - Hearts A Mess 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

TIP: Removing Deodorant Stains

How annoying is to get white deodorant marks on a black shirt or dress?  And who wants to leave the house with wet spots from trying to remove them with soap and water? Well the best way to rid your clothes of this embarrassing white mark is to simply rub it off with the same material. I had this problem with a black turtle neck I wore the other day, after rubbing the bottom of the shirt to the deodorant mark on the side, it came right off!